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Academic Continuity for Students

Continuing Your Studies Online

In the event of the need to continue your coursework remotely, communication with your instructors and access to technology tools will be crucial.

Here are five things you should be prepared for to successfully participate in your courses: clear communications, reliable internet, and device access, knowledge of Canvas, familiarity with creating files for online submission, and a commitment to accessing and completing online assignments daily.


Contact your instructors via your VCCS email or messaging in Canvas.

  • If the college closes or a course has to move online, find out how you can participate.
  • If you do not have all of the required technology and access and complete online coursework, be proactive in communicating this to your instructor and in finding solutions (see links below).

Internet and Device Access

If a face-to-face class is changed to be offered in an online format, consider the following to be prepared.

  • Ensure you have access to a computer or a mobile device that includes reliable access to the internet.
  • Ensure you have speakers and a microphone or a headset with a mic.
  • Ensure you have a webcam built into your computer/mobile device or a USB webcam.


Online Files

  • File Types: You may be asked to submit PDF or MS Office files. Office 365 and Google Docs allow you to save your files as PDF files.
  • Software: You can access free instructional software and useful apps as a NOVA student.


  • Daily Check-in: Expect to check your email and Canvas courses daily, and be prepared to attend live video sessions online via the Zoom web conferencing tool that may be scheduled during your regularly scheduled campus class time.
  • Notifications: Reading announcements and assignment notifications are crucial to having a successful online learning experience.
  • Time: Expect to spend as much time with your courses online as you would on campus.
  • Office Hours: Take advantage of any online office hours offered.
  • Communicate:& Take the time to communicate via Canvas or email with your instructors promptly. Ask for feedback or clarification, and be open to phone conversations and video conferencing.
  • Course Support: Before spending too much time on tasks, reach out for assistance if you have questions or cannot access course content. Canvas courses need to be published for you to see them. If you cannot see your course on your Canvas dashboard or Courses menu, reach out to your instructor to ensure it has been published.